C bought a snowmobile on Sunday. Instantly, part of me died.
Somehow, the concept of sled-ownership (and yes, friends from the south, they are not called “snowmobiles” in everyday conversation. They are sleds.) strikes fear and icy dismay into the depths of my heart. I feel as if, as a family, we have just crossed a Rubicon that there is no returning from. It is horrible and terrifying and really, really sad. Feel for me. Please.
When I was a kid, I grew up in a rural area of the Northeast and went to a small school. Naturally, because we were in a wintery part of the country, some of my friends were avid snowmobilers. Each year we would go on a youth retreat that was a 90-minute drive north, and these friends would choose to spend the miles riding up on their sleds rather than on the bus, so long as there was white stuff on the ground. I thought that this was terribly strange. Who, in full presence of mind, would choose to ride on this machine that seemed to resemble a toboggan strapped over tank tracks when given the option of a valid mode of human transportation?
What if they hit a deer?
I have a friend who hit a deer while riding his bicycle, and I imagine that this could be much worse.
Little did I know at the time that snowmobiles are like any other motorsport hobby or vehicle acquisition. They can come from a neighbor’s junk pile, and cost next to nothing,
You can buy the new Yamaha Apex XTX model, and easily spend fifteen thousand dollars. These things can be pricey.
I'd hate to get all soap boxy on you, but if you’re really feeling bold, you could take that fifteen thousand dollars and buy seventeen camels from Heifer International, and send them to seventeen communities in need within the developing world. You’d be giving them long-term transportation and income, as well as a source of dietary nourishment.
Or you could get the Apex. Go ahead, you choose.
Anyhow, lots of what I’ve been learning during this move has to do with the nature of my perceptions, and how off-base they have generally been. My husband has had so much fun with his sled since he’s purchased it (I haven’t even been around), and it has enabled him to enjoy some male-bonding time that he would not have otherwise had. This has really become a precious thing since we moved north.
So the next step is to buy him a helmet. I think that because I’ve had such a wretchedly bad attitude about this whole purchase-process, I should go out and find the best helmet on the market, and buy it as a way of passing the peace pipe. But, on the other hand, I could just go find this thing, and my inner monster will feel fed.
Speaking of inner monsters: if he doesn't have one already, he won't need one after trying this on.
So please, inundate me with your holy-mecca snowmobiling stories. Tell me about the day your 6 year-old drove on the lake for the first time or about how this sport has made the world a better place for your community. Sing me a song about the sled’s value to family relations in the frozen north.
Then go buy me a camel.
I will not let you win this argument. Not now. Not ever. Not even if you’re nice.
But maybe I’ll get to a place where I can appreciate the simple pleasure of a much cheaper, less diabolical winter vehicle than our fifteen thousand dollar white whale.
Today though, I'm standing at the ship's bow with a spear ready. Don't push me.